Global Initiative on Urban Public Health
Ten Chinese Cities Commit to Global Initiative on Urban Public Health
October 19, 2006 --- An important event will occur in Suzhou, China on October 28, 2006. Sixty five mayors of cities from around the world will sign a proclamation showing their resolve to improve the quality of life in urban communities.
The cities that the mayors represent range in population from 50,000 to 10 million and include 10 from China. “This is a groundbreaker in two big ways”, says Dr. Keiko Nakamura, Secretariat of the Alliance for Healthy Cities, the organization sponsoring the conference where the signing will take place. “First of all, people all over the globe wonder which direction China will take: will it continue with its current focus on economic development or will it balance that with a commitment to improving public health in urban areas? The fact that Chinese cities are willing to move towards balanced development is good news for everybody. Secondly, it is new in China for number of cities to work together on urban public health issues together with a large number of cities in the world”.
The Alliance for Healthy Cities is an international network of cities and organization who are committed to improving quality of life in urban communities. That network was initiated with the support of the World Health Organization in 2004. It has since grown to 62 members.
The conference where the proclamation will be signed is called the Second General Assembly and Conference of the Alliance for Healthy Cities. It is to be held from Saturday, October 28 to Monday, October 30 at the Suzhou International Conference Center in Suzhou, China.
Suzhou is noted for its canals and gardens, which have earned it the nickname of “the Venice of the East”. It has a population of approximately 10 million and is located in the southest of Jiangsu Province. It is bordered by Shanghai on the east and by the Yangtze River in the north.
The theme of the conference is “Healthy Cities in a Globalizing World”. Dr. Nakamura continues to say, “The members of the Alliance for Healthy Cities are committed to a new form of international mutual collaboration. They aren’t only concerned with just the public health issues that face their cities, but with global issues.”